Ongoing discussions to converge US GAAP and international accounting
standards ‘can’t go on indefinitely’ the international standard setter chairman
International Accounting Standards Board chairman Sir David Tweedie said
convergence between US GAAP and international standards must finish by 2011,
Speaking at the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting he said some
nations are running out of patience while the US Securities and Exchange
Commission decides on a convergence timetable.
‘This is a very interesting moment for us, a once-in-a-lifetime moment –
where is the USA?’ he said.
‘That is a question I am asked all around the world. The convergence program
is designed to reduce the cost of transition. FASB is riding two horses: US
GAAP and trying to converge at the same time, but so are we.’
He said the seven year convergence effort had started to wear thin on some
nations, citing a Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens policy paper which
said there were ‘diminishing returns’ from continued convergence with US GAAP.
‘If you’re going to have global standards, we need the US, but it can’t go on
indefinitely,’ he said.
‘We’ve been converging for seven years. We have a timetable to finish in
2011. It’s designed to fit these major economies — Korea, Canada, Japan, India —
who are converging that year. We have to finish this year.’
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